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Digvijaya Singh taken into preventive arrest in Bengaluru


Bengaluru: Ahead of apex court hearing on the Madhya Pradesh political crisis, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh reached Bengaluru early morning on Wednesday and tried to go to Ramada Hotel where the rebel Congress MLAs are lodged.

However, Digvijaya Singh was stopped from going into the hotel following which he sat on dharna there. Now, Bengaluru police have taken him into preventive custody.
Digvijaya Singh said, “I am a Rajya Sabha candidate I am not allowed to meet the MLAs.”
Earlier, Digvijaya Singh was received by Karnataka Congress chief D.K. Shivakumar at the airport.

Shivakumar said, “The Congress party is united and we have our own political strategy.”

In the apex court when the matter comes up for hearing, senior advocate Kapil Sibal will appear for the Madhya Pradesh government and Abhishek Singhvi for the Speaker.


 The BJP has moved the top court for holding a floor test in Assembly as it thinks the Kamal Nath government has lost its majority.

SOURCE: AGENCY 




Over 250 stranded Indians in Iran reportedly infected with COVID


New Delhi: As per the list reportedly prepared by doctors who went to Iran from India, more than 250 Indians are infected by COVID-19.

Indians stuck in Iran’s Qom

 These Indians are stuck in Iran’s Qom since February due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. They were the part of the delegation of over 800 persons from Kargil, Ladakh.

It may be mentioned that India had sent a team of doctors to conduct coronavirus tests on the Indians in Iran.

A lawyer from Kargil, Haji Mustafa confirmed that his relative is among those who are infected with the virus. He alleged that official negligence has worsened the crisis.

Citing the reason for his allegation, he said that persons who were tested positive were not properly isolated thereby exposing other delegation members to the deadly virus.

Statement by External Affairs Ministry officials
Meanwhile, the External Affairs Ministry officials on Tuesday said they cannot confirm whether more than 250 Indians in Iran have tested positive for the virus but acknowledged that they were aware of such a list of people being circulated.

At the daily inter-ministerial press briefing on coronavirus on Tuesday evening, MEA Additional Secretary Dammu Ravi was asked several times about Indians in Iran testing positive.

“Of course in a situation like that, you will find some positive cases among the Indian pilgrims given the extensive spread of virus in Iran.

“Rest assured that every care is being taken by mission in cooperating and coordinating with the government of Iran for safety of Indians there. The ambassador is giving a lot of attention to them,” Ravi told reporters.

“Cannot confirm that over 250 Indians in Iran have tested positive for coronavirus and whether the list that is being circulated is authentic or not,” he said in response to a question about media reports claiming that more than 250 Indians in Iran have tested positive for the virus.

He, however, said that it was not possible that all the tests of the Indian pilgrims would have come out negative as they were located in Qom.




Coronavirus update: Can Centre's travel restrictions on nations stop Indians from returning home?


The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday evening, without mentioning whether Indians are included in this list, issued a circular on the new set of travel restrictions India has imposed following the coronavirus outbreak.

“Travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and United Kingdom to India is prohibited with effect from 18th March 2020,” the circular read. On Tuesday, the Centre also further announced that it had prohibited the travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia to India till March 31.

This has put a number of Indians abroad in a fix. Bengaluru resident Jasmine Karl, who is currently in Greece with her husband, told Free Press Journal that they had to cut their holiday by five days following the government advisory. We had tried rescheduling our tickets way in advance, even before the advisory was issued, but we never got help from both MakeMyTrip.com or Emirates,” she said.

Jasmine added that their return ticket cost them Rs 1.10 lakh, but Emirates cancelled their return ticket a few days earlier after coronavirus pandemic continued spreading. “We then had to spend Rs 1.10 lakh for a one-day ticket from Athens to Bengaluru. Emirates has not informed us about the refund policy yet,” she added.

The government had earlier suspended all visas, barring a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

After a Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting, the government proposed a set of social-distancing measures to be in force till March 31, the officials told reporters.

"Travel of passengers from the member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom to India is prohibited with effect from March 18," Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Aggarwal said.

"No airline shall board a passenger from these countries to India with effect from 1200 GMT on March 18. The airlines shall enforce this at the port of initial departure," he added.

 
 
 



Coronavirus outbreak: 64-year-old COVID-19 patient dies at Mumbai's Kasturba hospital, third Indian to die of virus


A 64-year-old COVID-19 patient on Tuesday died in a hospital in Mumbai's Kasturba hospital, making it the third death in India, reported news agency ANI. The 64-year-old, who passed away today, had multiple health issues apart from being infected by COVID-19. More details awaited. Earlier, two Covid-19 related deaths, one each in Delhi and Karnataka, were reported.

With five more persons testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the number of infected cases in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) has increased to 14 from nine.

 
 

Daksha Shah, deputy director of BMCs health department, said of the five people who have tested positive in the MMR, one is from Mumbai and two each from Navi Mumbai and Kalyan cities.

According to the BMC, a total of 498 people with possible coronavirus infection were admitted to Kasturba hospital so far. Of these, 452 tested negative for the coronavirus infection and 433 of them have been already discharged from the hospital.

(Inputs from Agencies)

 
 
 



Congress questions ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi's nomination to Rajya Sabha


New Delhi: The Congress has lashed out at the nomination of former chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi as a Rajya Sabha candidate.

Citing news reports, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala questioned the government's move, saying, "Justice Lokur rightly summarises it - Has the last bastion fallen?"

 
 

Justice Lokur, who has criticised the move, was part of the group of the then senior justices who called an unprecedented press conference in January 2018 to lash out at then chief justice Dipak Misra. However, ironically so, former Gogoi was part of that press conference.

 
 

In another tweet, Surjewala said: "Did PM Modi consider the advice of his former colleague & Law Minister and Finance Minister, Late Sh. Arun Jaitley before recommending ex-CJI, Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha?" Jaitley had once said that the verdicts are influenced by post retirement jobs.


Randeep Singh Surjewala

@rssurjewala
Justice Lokur rightly summarises it -:
 
“Has the last bastion fallen?”

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Randeep Singh Surjewala

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I agree with Modiji’s Cabinet Minister!

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On Monday, former CJI Gogoi was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the President of India.




Coronavirus update: Govt bans entry of passengers from EU countries, UK, Turkey


New Delhi: With coronavirus cases swelling in the country, the government banned the entry of passengers from EU countries, Turkey and the UK from March 18 till March 31 on Monday.

Union health ministry officials also said four new COVID-19 cases -- one each from Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Kerala -- were reported on Monday, taking the total number of cases in the country to 114.

These cases include 10 discharged, three cured and two reported deaths.

The "contact-tracing activity" of the positive cases had led to the identification of more than 5,200 persons, who were kept under a rigorous surveillance, they added.

 
 

The government had earlier suspended all visas, barring a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

After a Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting, the government proposed a set of social-distancing measures to be in force till March 31, the officials told reporters.

"Travel of passengers from the member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom to India is prohibited with effect from March 18," Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Aggarwal said.

"No airline shall board a passenger from these countries to India with effect from 1200 GMT on March 18. The airlines shall enforce this at the port of initial departure," he added.

These temporary measures shall be in force till March 31 and reviewed subsequently, Aggarwal said.

The GoM held its seventh meeting on Monday and after detailed deliberations, social-distancing measures were proposed as a preventive strategy, he added.

The key measures proposed included closure of all educational institutions, gymnasiums, museums, cultural and social centres, swimming pools and theatres, Aggarwal said.

Students should be advised to stay at home and online education should be promoted, he added.

Non-essential travel should be avoided. Buses, trains and aeroplanes to maximise social distancing in public transport, besides ensuring proper disinfection of services," Aggarwal said.

Restaurants should ensure a handwashing protocol and proper cleanliness of frequently-touched surfaces, he added.

They should also ensure a minimum of one metre physical distancing between tables and encourage open-air seating, Aggarwal said.

The government urged the local authorities to have a dialogue with the organisers of sporting events and competitions involving large gatherings, adding that they might be advised to postpone such events, he added.

It also advised the local authorities to have a dialogue with opinion makers and religious leaders to regulate mass gatherings and ensure no overcrowding.

"Local authorities should have a meeting with traders' associations and other stakeholders to regulate hours, dos and don'ts...and take up a communication drive at market places such as sabzi mandi, anaj mandi, besides at bus depots, railway stations, post offices etc., where essential services are provided," Aggarwal said.

Private sector organisations and employers were being encouraged to allow employees to work from home wherever feasible, he added.

The government also called for meetings to be held through video-conferencing as far as feasible.

Meetings involving a large number of people should be minimised or re-scheduled unless necessary, Aggarwal said.

The fourth batch of 53 evacuees from Iran arrived in the country on Monday. They were being quarantined at an Army facility in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer. All of them were reported to be asymptomatic currently, Aggarwal said.

The government also called for compulsory quarantine for a minimum of 14 days for passengers coming from or transiting through the UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. This measure will also come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 18 at the port of first departure.

The GoM chaired by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was attended by Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep S Puri, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai and Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey, among others.

The Centre has suspended the pilgrimage and registration for the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan, beginning Sunday midnight, in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

It has also suspended the movement of all types of passengers through the international border points with Pakistan.

On Saturday, the government announced suspension of all types of passenger movement from 00:00 hours on March 15 through the Indo-Bangla, Indo-Nepal, Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Myanmar borders, barring a few specified border checkposts.

All types of passenger movements through the immigration land checkposts located along the India-Bangladesh, India-Nepal, India-Bhutan and India-Myanmar borders were suspended with effect from 00:00 hours on March 15, except through a few checkposts, and at the India-Pakistan border, with effect from 00:00 hours on March 16 until further orders, according to a home ministry order.

The government has asked Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel abroad.

 
 
 



Coronavirus update in Mumbai: Thermal scanners become scarce, pricey


Mumba: As a preventive measure, housing societies in the city have started screening of vendors and visitors. However, the societies are facing the problem of acute shortage of thermal scanners, and wherever it is available, the suppliers are demanding more than double the price for it. Hence, some societies are using thermometers as desperate measure.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the state government are working hard to fight and prevent the spread of the deadly Corona virus. Likewise, some housing societies are also taking preventive measures on their own to stay safe.

For this, the societies have started screening outsiders at the entrance. Vendors, delivery boys and visitors are being checked — being asked to wash or sanitise hands and to wear a mask before entering the society premises.

"We are taking all possible precautionary steps. We are screening outsiders by recording their temperature. If the temperature is above 98, then we will report it to the helpline number given by the BMC.

 
 

Also, we have prohibited vendors, courier and delivery boys from going to the doorsteps. The owners are asked to come and collect their products from the reception of the building.

I have circulated a notice in the society that members should carry personal sanitisers to avoid contact of the virus," said Parkash Ruia, chairman of Windermere Housing Society in the city.

“We are using the traditional digital thermometers for screening as thermal scanners are now hard to find. We have installed temporary wash basins and providing sanitisers.

The thermal or digital thermometers which were sold for Rs 2500-2900, are now priced at Rs 6,000 apiece,” said Dhaval Shah chairman of the Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen Association.

 
 
 



Not Aamir Khan but his pillow is Kareena’s fav co-star


Mumbai: If you were under the impression that Actor Aamir Khan is Mrs Kareena Kapoor Khan’s favourite co-star, you need to think again.
The actress has just revealed that the tag was not for the superstar but his pillow!
On Aamir Khan’s 55th birthday on Saturday, Kareena shared a glimpse of the actor for his fans on Instagram.
In the photograph, Aamir can be seen sleeping in a flight, with his favourite pillow tucked under his head. Apparently, he carries the pillow with him everywhere.
The actress jokingly wrote: “My fav co-star has to be @_aamirkhan’s… pillow!”

Image result for Not Aamir Khan but his pillow is Kareena’s fav co-star

Aamir and Kareena have been shooting in Punjab for their upcoming film “Laal Singh Chaddha”. Unconfirmed reports state the Advait Chandan directorial will hit theatres on Christmas this year.

SOURCE: WITH AGENCY INPUTS




Coronavirus scare intensifies in India as cases increases to 110


New Delhi: Coronavirus cases intensified in India as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases climbed to 110. On Sunday, the country recorded its highest daily jump in the number of cases.
As per the data revealed by the Union Health Ministry, till Sunday night, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across India were 110, including the foreign nationals.

The maximum positive cases have been reported from Maharashtra (32), followed by Kerala (22).
On 1st March, there were only three confirmed cases in India. It has increased by more than 35 times in 15 days.

Image result for Coronavirus scare intensifies in India as cases increases to 110

Experts’ views
According to experts, the number of cases is likely to increase as more than 4000 people who had come in contact with infected persons are under close watch. They also opined that pre-emptive lockdown is the need of the hour.

Suggesting the government to increase testing capacity, they said that present infrastructure to screen suspected cases will become inadequate if the sudden rise in the number of COVID-19 takes place.

Meanwhile, the total number of patients freed from the virus has reached 13 in India.

Coronavirus case globally
The number of novel coronavirus cases globally stood at 163,930 with 6,420 deaths, across 141 countries and territories.

The worst-hit nation after China is Italy with 1,809 deaths for 24,747 cases, Iran with 724 fatalities (13,938 cases), Spain with 288 deaths and 7,753 cases and France, with 91 deaths and 4,499 cases.

On Sunday, Asia had listed 91,973 cases and 3,320 deaths, Europe 52,407 cases and 2,291 deaths, the Middle East 15,291 cases for 738 deaths, the United States and Canada 3,201 cases for 52 deaths, Latin America and the Caribbean 448 cases and six deaths, Africa 315 cases and eight deaths, and Oceania 303 cases and five deaths.

 




Yes Bank: ED summons Anil Ambani


New Delhi: Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani has been summoned by the ED in connection with its money laundering probe against Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor and others, officials said on Monday.

They said Ambani has been asked to depose at the Enforcement Directorate office in Mumbai on Monday as his group companies are one among the big entities whose loans went bad after borrowing from the crisis-hit bank.

It is understood that Ambani has sought exemption on health grounds from the agency and he may be issued a new date.
Ambani’s group companies are stated to have taken loans of about Rs 12,800 crore from the bank that turned NPA.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in a March 6 press conference that the Anil Ambani Group, Essel, ILFS, DHFL and Vodafone were among the stressed corporates Yes Bank had exposure to.

Officials said promoters of all the big companies who had taken large loans from the beleaguered bank which later turned bad, are being summoned for questioning in the case to take investigation forward.

Ambani’s statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) upon deposition, they said.

Kapoor, 62, is at present in ED custody after he was arrested by the central probe agency early this month.

Ambani’s group companies are stated to have taken loans of about Rs 12,800 crore from the bank that turned NPA.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in a March 6 press conference that the Anil Ambani Group, Essel, ILFS, DHFL and Vodafone were among the stressed corporates Yes Bank had exposure to.

Officials said promoters of all the big companies who had taken large loans from the beleaguered bank which later turned bad, are being summoned for questioning in the case to take investigation forward. 
Ambani’s statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) upon deposition, they said.

Kapoor, 62, is at present in ED custody after he was arrested by the central probe agency early this month.





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